Coronavirus – End of subcontracting in German slaughterhouses

From January 2021, subcontracting contracts, which do not allow convincing sanitary controls, will be banned in the meat industry in Germany.

Germany will ban subcontracting contracts for slaughterhouse workers. This measure aims to improve working conditions in these establishments. where several outbreaks of Covid-19 have appeared (archives).

KEYSTONE/EPA TOENNIES

Germany will ban subcontracting contracts for slaughterhouse employees, a flagship measure of a law intended to improve working conditions in these establishments where several outbreaks of Covid-19 have appeared.

“We are ending subcontracts in the meat industry from January 1, 2021,” Labor Minister Hubertus Heil (Social Democrat) announced on Friday.

This ban will spell the end of a widespread practice in this sector. It consists in making massive use of labor from Eastern Europe, hired by companies from these countries, then “seconded” to Germany via “service contracts”.

“Irresponsibility”

“This system organizes irresponsibility”, explained Heil. German companies have very few social or health obligations towards this workforce that they do not officially hire.

According to the government, of the 200,000 people working in the meat industry in Germany, between “50% and 80%” are now employed under this type of contract.

The ban on subcontracting will also be extended to meat processing workshops. The project also provides for a ban on temporary employment contracts in slaughterhouses. New housing obligations for workers, and more regular checks by the authorities will be imposed.

The poor working conditions in German slaughterhouses have been brought to light in recent months with the appearance of several outbreaks of Covid-19.

In June, nearly 6’500 employees of the largest slaughterhouse in Europe in Gütersloh (north-west) belonging to the German number 1 in meat Tönnies, had thus been placed in quarantine after the appearance of a “cluster”.

ATS / NXP

Posted today at 16:08

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